Social Media Dogs: What Your Dog Wants You to Know

Social media is a wonderful way to stay in touch with family and friends, but it can have its downside. Numerous studies suggest that overdoing it on Facebook or similar sites can make us unhappy.

For example, having more than 7 social media accounts triples the risk of depression among young adults, according to researchers at The University of Pittsburgh. Maybe it’s the multitasking or the pressure to look cool in multiple venues with different rules. Either way, that’s one mistake your dog wouldn’t make. He’s content with playing in the same park each afternoon, and eating his usual for dinner each night.

If you’re going to use social media, there are a few more things your dog could teach you. After all, he’s man’s best friend, so take a look at these ideas he’d want to share with you.

Play Nice

Online spontaneity can lead to regrets if you say something insensitive. Even dogs benefit from being socialized.

Think first

Ask yourself if what you’re typing is encouraging and constructive. Imagine how you’d feel if you were on the receiving end.

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Consider your audience. Context matters. Avoid misunderstandings by choosing the appropriate platform for your remarks. Puppy pictures will get more laughs on Facebook than LinkedIn.

Take the high road

You’ll probably run into some rudeness and aggression online. Try to elevate the conversation or leave gracefully if necessary.

Accept Yourself

The average mutt can have just as much confidence as any Westminster Kennel Club winner. Loving yourself protects you from feeling inferior online and off.

Be authentic

Know that you are worthy of happiness and respect just the way you are. Celebrate your strengths, and enjoy exploring the areas where you want to grow.

Resist comparisons

Sometimes it looks like everyone else on Facebook is taking exotic vacations and bragging about their gifted children. Count your blessings and pursue your own definition of success.

Think positive

Think of challenges as opportunities. Wake up with a smile and be kind to yourself. When you talk to yourself, choose words that comfort and inspire you.

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Stay Active

Being sedentary takes a toll on your mental and physical health. Maybe you need to step away from the computer.

Take a walk

Exercise each day. Walk your dog an extra mile or visit the gym.

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Move around. Incorporate more physical activity into each day.

Climb the stairs or do some extra chores around the house.

Interact offline

Cultivate relationships face-to-face. Meet up with friends for a regular coffee or lunch date. Throw a potluck dinner with your neighbors.

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Engage in Meaningful Activities

Your dog can find fulfillment in chasing a stick. You may need to aim a little higher. If you’re feeling down about squandering the last 2 hours on celebrity gossip, devote your time to finer things.

Live mindfully

Any activity can be profound if you keep your purpose in mind. Enjoy preparing breakfast for your family or giving your dog a bath.

Find a hobby

Fill your leisure time with projects that expand your knowledge and skills. Play a musical instrument, paint art, do photography, or study a foreign language.

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Focus on giving. True gratification comes from helping others and contributing to your community.

Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or library. Tell a retail worker when their patience and kindness helps to make your errands more pleasant.

If your dog can figure out how to avoid Facebook depression and Instagram anxiety, so can you. Monitor your social media use and pay attention to your life offline. You and your dog will both benefit!

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